So Lionel's all freaking out, going "Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?" Okay, to be honest, there's only one snake, but y'know what, I can't pick on Lionel too much for freaking out. If I was in the situation he was in, stranded in the wilderness, with my arm pinned under a massive boulder...I'd totally lose my shit. In fact, given that I lose my shit under ordinary circumstances, I don't even wanna think about what I'd do under extraordinary ones.
He freaks out, praying and hoping the snake isn't poisonous, until a fox comes along and chases it away.
There's a brief interlude with Vicki. There's really not much to snark; it's just everyone freaking out as they try to help Cheryl, who is in labor. There is mention of her communicating, via email, with a midwife named Wanda. I'm going to assume Wanda has been mentioned before at some point and didn't just come way the hell out of nowhere. I tried browsing both Wikipedia and the Left Behind wiki but neither was any help. Yeah, it'd mean I'm being a bad reader in that I completely forgot about the existence of a character, but like I said before, given that the characters in this series have no distinguishing features of any kind, I think y'all can cut me a little slack here.
I do have one last quibble before we move back to Lionel. In this scene, Vicki's timing Cheryl's contractions with a stopwatch and notes that the interval between contractions is becoming further apart which makes me o_O because I thought as labor progressed, the contractions became closer and closer together, becoming stronger and more frequent. I tried reading Wikipedia's page on Childbirth, but I'm still confused on that point. I'm starting to think there are limits to what Wikipedia can teach you. Could someone with more knowledge help me out here so I can decide whether or not to add Childbirth to the long list of things Ellanjay know nothing about?
Anyway back to Lionel. Lionel is watching the fox, being like "Good fox, nice fox," sort of deal. He offers the fox his sandwich in order to get it to hang around and wonders whether the fox is an angel sent by God in disguise. Yeah, I know, kind of silly, but given the circumstances, I'll allow it. Besides, shortly after he thinks this, Lionel shakes his head and thinks the blood loss has to be affecting his theology.
Next, we hear from Judd. Woo... [/sarcasm] Anyway, Judd's running around trying to get back to the Salem hideout in order to get help for Lionel. Which of the many Salems in the United States is he trying to get to? I have no idea. I really stopped caring about Judd and Lionel's Excellent Adventures through America a long time ago. For all I know, they could be in Timbuktu. In fact, you may think this is crazy but I have a sneaking suspicion that the only reason they didn't just reunite Judd and Vicki, instead opting to have this long adventure of them trying to get to each other, is so they could pad out the novel. Padding in an Ellanjay series? Surely you can't be serious! Yeah, the fact that both Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins are both probably disgustingly rich...I'll add that to my list of "Stuff that Makes Me Question the Existence of a Loving God."
Anyway, as Judd travels, he gets angrier and angrier as he thinks of Nicky and the rest of the GC. I know, I know, but we do get a flicker of rebellious thought from him. It lasts about as long as a drop of rain in the desert during summer, but like I said, I relish these few moments and grab onto any I can find.
Judd stopped by a tree a hundred yards from the hideout and caught his breath. He realized he was angry, not just at the evil around him but also at God for allowing it. The whole thing was somehow part of God’s plan, but Judd didn’t understand it.
Uh, Judd, what exactly is so difficult to understand about the plan here? It's clear that God cares about as much for you as a Sadistic Sims Player cares about the virtual people under their control or, to put it in a more low-tech fashion, a child cares about their paper dolls. God moves you from place to place and does whatever he pleases with you because he doesn't care what happens to you because you're entirely beneath his notice. Think of your role in all this world-changing events as being like the role of the rats in the cornfield, torn up by the tractor when the farmer (God) decides it's harvest time.
I know, I belabor the point, but like I said, it really cheeses me off the way Ellanjay keep having their God do all this horrible shit for no real reason and still claim that God loves them.
Anyway, if it sounds like I'm rushing through the second chapter, it's because I am. They're really isn't anything to snark, seeing as it's just a childbirth scene and given that I have no personal experience or medical knowledge on the subject, I can't really go through and point out all the stuff they do wrong. All I know about childbirth is that it's painful, messy, and lasts longer in the real world than it does in movies and TV. That and The Scrubs summation of it. That out of the way, let's get to it.
They've finally managed to get Wanda whoever-she-is, on the phone, and she's coaching Vicki through this. The baby's face is all blue and the umbilical cord is wrapped around its neck. So they have to deal with that. Eventually the baby is born, but still isn't breathing. Luckily, Vicki, with coaching from Wanda, manages to get the baby breathing.
Anyway, the baby's here and it's a boy for those of you wondering. Cheryl names him Ryan Victor and once again, I've got to question why she'd name her baby after the second biggest butt monkey in the LB-verse.